High schools: Bow girls’ soccer makes the right adjustments against Hopkinton

  • Bow’s Juliette Tarsa (right) and Hopkinton’s Kally Murdough (left) battle for a free ball during the first half of Thursday’s game in Bow. Tarsa scored a goal as Bow claimed a 5-2 win. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow’s Bella LaPerle (left) and her twin sister Lyndsey (right) celebrate after a goal during the second half of Thursday’s game in Bow. Both LaPerle sisters scored a goal as Bow claimed a 5-2 win. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

  • Hopkinton’s Caitlin Clark (7) dribbles between a pair of Bow defenders during Thursday’s game in Bow. Clark scored for the Hawks, but the Falcons earned a 5-2 win. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 9/25/2020 9:17:21 AM

Teams playing each other in back-to-back games in the same week is one of the safety-related changes to high school sports this season. The idea behind the back-to-back games is to help with any contact tracing that might be necessary and to keep exposure as limited as possible.

This change has also created a new dynamic that has nothing to do with the coronavirus or its potential spread. When teams face each other two games in a row, something didn’t usually happen with previous schedules, they can make opponent-specific adjustments and tweaks and dig deeper into game planning and strategy.

“I like to play the same team two games in a row because you know what to do to play against them, how to come back and make adjustments,” Bow junior Madison Roberge said.

Roberge and the Bow girls’ soccer team did just that on Thursday during their 5-2 home win against Hopkinton.

The two teams opened their season-openers against each other on Monday and after Hopkinton built a 2-0 lead in the first half, the Falcons started making their adjustments at halftime and came back to wind up with a 3-3 tie. Thursday’s first half ended with the score 1-1, but again it was Bow adapting in the second half and this time the result was a win.

“Both games they played better than we did in the second half, and I think their practice preparation over the last two days between games was probably better than ours. You could tell the way they were playing, they were stringing more together and pressuring in the right areas,” Hopkinton coach Mike Zahn said. “I tried to switch things up and move a few players here and there, but the moves I made didn’t work. Bow was just too good all over the place today.”

A major adjustment Bow made during Monday’s halftime in Hopkinton was to change formations from a 4-4-2 to a 4-1-4-1. The Falcons stayed in the 4-1-4-1 on Thursday and they picked up right where they left on by controlling the first 10 minutes against the Hawks.

But it was Hopkinton that scored first when junior Ashley Brehio, who looked like the best player on the field in the first half, sent a cross into the box in the 17th minute that freshman Keegan St. Cyr finished with a one-time touch that went off the near post and in. Bow answered in the 29th minute with a goal from freshman Juliette Tarsa and the score stayed 1-1 until the break.

“So, at halftime today we just talked about understanding our roles and we also talked about looking for the diagonals or through balls because we thought we could get behind their defense,” Falcons coach Jay Vogt said.

They thought right. In just the third minute of the second half, Bow’s Jocelyn Anderson sent a through ball into a seam and Bella LaPerle beat the defense to it and then calmly slotted a shot into the back of the net to make it 2-1 with 37:19 on the clock. The Hawks responded in less than a minute when Caitlyn Clark gathered a deflection and scored from the top of the 18-yard box on a shot to the lower corner, but after that the Falcons took control.

They got behind the Hopkinton defense again in the 49th minute, but this time Bow’s Addie Trefethen held the play up and fed a pass to a trailing Kristina Pizzi, who dribbled through traffic with a few spectacular touches and finished to make it 3-2.

Five minutes later, it was Pizzi beat her defender to the end line and sent a cross into the box that all the Hawks let go, and somehow it hit the far post and went it to push the score to 4-2 with 27:10 left to play.

“That was weird,” Pizzi admitted.

The senior sent another dangerous cross into the box in the 70th minute and this time someone did touch it – Bow sophomore Lyndsey LaPerle, who headed it home for the game’s final goal.

“(Roberge) sent that ball to me and I was able to cross it, but unfortunately I didn’t see Lyndsey head it in, I was on the ground,” Pizzi said.

Hopkinton, the two-time defending Division III champs, and Bow, the 2019 D-II runner-up, now move on to their next home-and-home series, but they’re better off for having played each other. The Falcons take on another familiar, and local, opponent in John Stark, while the Hawks will try themselves against another D-II team in Merrimack Valley.

“For us it’s awesome to play a team like Bow to start the season, we’re just not used to getting beat up that badly,” Zahn said. “Monday’s game showed that we can play with them, but today showed how important preparation is between these games and I think our girls just didn’t focus the way they usually do.”

Girls’ Soccer

Merrimack Valley 2, Coe Brown 1

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Alyssa Woodman (goal, assist); Rhiley Tanguay (goal); Colby Magoon (assist)

Highlights: Coe-Brown opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, but the Pride answered four minutes later when Magood played a through ball to Woodman, who chipped it over the charging to keeper. The score stayed 1-1 until the 70th minute when Woodman fed Tanguay on the right side of the box and she beat a defender ands cored near post for the game winner.

Coach’s quote: “Today was a much better game from both teams compared to Monday. We generated more chances and played accurately to feet. We celebrated the seniors today and they found a way to dig deep and come from behind to win the game. Great team effort. ” – MV’s Nick Dagostino

Records: Merrimack Valley 2-0-0; Coe-Brown 0-2-0

Pembroke 4, John Stark 0

Key players: Pembroke – Adrienne Dorr; John Stark — Meghan Mefford, Megan Rousseau, Sophia McGinty

Coach’s quote: “The girls wanted to try something different but then slipped into old habits. We were always numbers up defending, but they still forced the outside middies to drop so we lost our offense. Add to that some simple errors and Pembroke took the advantage. Dorr is a great player. You know what she’s going to do, you plan for it and she somehow manages to still slip by or make the most beautiful runs and shots.” – John Stark’s Chris Pike

Records: Pembroke 2-1; John Stark 0-2

Boys’ Soccer

Merrimack Valley 1, Coe Brown 0

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Jack Davis (goal), Mason Boudreau (shutout)

Highlights: Merrimack Valley was moving the ball well right from the opening kick, and the midfielders’ quick passes helped open up a scoring opportunity for Davis. The Pride also got solid work from its back line of Connor Baldwin, Andrew Baldwin, Jackson Mercer and Chase Schnipke.

Coach’s quote: “It was great to see the boys come together as a team to win this game. Coe-Brown never let up and we had to fight off many waves of their attack. It was great to see the boys move the ball around and build on the things we worked on in practice.” – MV’s Ken Fuller

“Regardless of the outcome, the team would have been disappointed in our performance overall. Defensively, we did alright on the back line but lost the middle of the field for portions of the game. Offensively, we made it harder on ourselves by lacking enough anticipation and commitment. We got caught playing reactionary soccer which made us very one dimensional. By the time we started working some of that out, we ran out of time.” – Coe-Brown’s Christian Gompert

Records: Merrimack Valley 1-1; Coe Brown 1-1

John Stark 4, Pembroke 1

Key players: John Stark – Riley Brooks, Will Connor, Nate Innerfield, Nolan Scott, CJ Brennan

Highlights: Pembroke scored first, but the Generals tied things up after Orry Murdough played a great ball off a direct kick to Brooks, who placed a header past the goalkeeper to tie it at 1-1. Innerfield found some space at the top of the 18 and placed a nice shot in the lower left hand corner to break the tie. Connor added a goal late in the first half (assist by Innerfield) to make it 3-1 at halftime and Scott finished the scoring in the second half off a cross from Gabe Lacasse.

Coach’s quote: “A little bit of a sluggish start, but we picked up the intensity and created a lot of scoring opportunities. The boys are really starting to find their touch and coming together nicely in the early stages of the season.” – John Stark’s Gerry Allen

Records: John Stark 2-0; Pembroke 0-3

Field Hockey

Concord 3, Merrimack Valley 0

Key players: Concord – Maria Armaganian (goal), Gaby Pimentel (goal), Emma Beaujouan (goal, assist), Kait McKinnon (assist), Maria Ruelas (great effort); Merrimack Valley – Rosemary Ostrowski, Taylor Bailey, Caitlyn Fortier

Highlights: Division II Merrimack Valley started strong and pushed the pace of the game from the starting whistle against Concord, last year’s D-I runner-up. But a strong opening goal by Armaganian off a corner put the Crimson Tide in charge.

Coach’s quote: “We played tough against a top Division I team. We moved the ball well on offense and played smart team defense. We could not generate enough offense in the circle to put the ball in the net today. Concord is a great program with some really talented players. I am proud of the way my team competed today. ” – MV’s Jen Colgan

Records: Concord 2-0-0; Merrimack Valley 0-2-0

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